The Hourglass is the obvious, 350 ft tall, hourglass shaped exfoliation slab situated at the base of the wall to the right of the Ribbon Falls Amphitheater. The left side goes as a scary and committing 11a while the right side is a very stout 10a offwidth. I also spied some fixed gear out on the face towards the center of the pinnacle, but I don't know if a center route has been completed or not.
It's a bit of a hike, but the Hourglass is worth it. Park at the woodyard on the right side of North Side Drive a bit past El Cap Meadow. Leave the dirt road as you would for Gold Wall and follow cairns and faint climbers trails through the forest along the west bank of Ribbon Creek. At some point you will need to cross the creek and continue through the forest and up a final steep section of loose dirt to reach the base.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Hourglass:
The Hourglass, Right 5.10a Trad, 3 pitches, 350 feet
Featured Route For The Hourglass
The right side of the Hourglass features 3 quality pitches and spectacular views of the West Face of El Cap. Except for a 20 ft section of burly offwidth, most of the climb is pretty moderate and features lots of fun hand-jamming and mellow chimney climbing.Pitch 1: Start in a clearing amidst a bunch of manzanitas. Do a boulder problem up the face to reach some ledges and then climb the right facing corner. There are a couple 5.9 bulges that are a bit awkward but mostly secure thanks to good han...[more] Browse More Classics in CA